High-performance all-season car tires have never been ideal for maximum road grip. However, the category is still one of the most popular ones in the tire industry. That’s thanks to its daily driving utility and being able to perform well in all seasons — as the name suggests. The latest all-season tires have advanced in areas that improve your driving experience overall, including cornering, braking, and traction on dry, wet, and snowy surfaces. In this review, we’ll look at an excellent example — the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+.
The Michelin brand name comes with a considerable price premium across all of its models. However, that’s due to the unparalleled goodwill and rapport the company has built since 1889!
Everybody knows what Michelin is capable of achieving with their tires in the performance department. After all, their tires feature in Formula 1 racing and many other high-profile racing series events worldwide.
But does the Pilot Sport A/3 3+ reflect that? Let’s find out.
Overview — Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
The Pilot Sport A/3 3+ promises the best winter performance, wet grip, and dry traction in the series — and there’s significant R & D work behind that! It involves their Helio+ technology, featuring their extreme silica tech tread compound that enables higher road grip in wet and cold conditions.
The aggressively asymmetric tread design seems to prioritize performance. It also has outboard shoulders with rigid blocks that improve cornering and grip. The design also has hydroplaning solutions built into it with circumferential grooves on the inside.
One exciting piece of technology that comes straight from their competitive racing designs is the Variable Contact Patch 3.0. It helps spread the tire’s contact patch to improve durability even with rough usage.
Thanks to all the performance reinforcements made to the Pilot Sport A/3 3+ in its design, the steering response is fantastic. The driver feels an immediate reaction to inputs, and the cornering is confidence-inspiring.
The tire’s performance stands toe to toe with some of the best offerings in the ultra-high-performance all-season category. For a tire in this category, the dry tarmac traction is exceptional relative to some of the other latest models in the market.
Even at higher speeds, the tire doesn’t lose stability — and the driver feels it thanks to its responsiveness.
All of these performance benefits translate into decent on-track performance, too! That’s crazy to hear about a Michelin tire in the all-season category, but you’ll know it when you drive it.
The Pilot Sport A/S 3+ will have you covered even on rainy days! The positive steering qualities persist even on wet pavement. This tire handles wet conditions well due to advanced hydroplaning resistance, improved wet traction, and decent turning performance.
There’s also no oversteer or understeer to speak of on wet roads, making it a pretty smooth driving experience overall. Even if you step on the gas a bit or take a sharp corner — the drive feels safe at all times.
As a cherry on top, the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ offers some of the shortest wet braking distances in the ultra-high-performance all-season category.
Performance on Snow
Normally, you wouldn’t find us recommending any tire in the ultra-high-performance all-season tire for severe winter conditions. While that doesn’t change with the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ — this one comes really close.
Compared to its alternatives in the high-performance all-season category, this tire handles surprisingly well in light snow! Michelin claims a significant 28% boost in the snow grip of this tire over its predecessors — the Pilot Sport A/S 3, and rightly so!
The tire handles cornering on snow quite well (as long as they’re not too sharp), with promising traction in light snow. The stopping distances are decent for its category, though some competitors take the lead in this department.
However, if you live in an area that gets covered in thick snow in the winter season — the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ will leave you asking for more. It’s good enough for places that get light to medium snowy conditions for daily driving. But for anything more than that, you’ll need some special winter tires.
Like all other all-season tires, Michelin hasn’t designed the A/S 3+ for off-roaders. And that’s evident in many ways.
Firstly, the tire’s tread compound (unlike an all-terrain tire) won’t hold well against the brutal rocks and chips in an off-road setting.
You won’t get any utility out of it either, as there’s not enough tread on the tire to provide usable levels of traction.
If the off-roading track is muddy or has wet rocks — you simply won’t get far with the A/S 3+; neither should you try to! The rubber is soft enough to be prone to punctures from sharp rocks and chips.
With tires, there’s always a trade-off between performance and ride quality. As most of the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ design focuses on performance optimization, the ride quality takes an evident hit. However, that’s to be expected from a tire category that has ultra-high-performance in the name.
There’s a noticeable tread growl, but it’s still better than many other competitors in the category. However, for the price, you can find more comfortable and quieter tires in the category — but that’ll come with massive sacrifices on performance.
In the current market scenario, the ultra-high-performance all-season category doesn’t get much better than the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+.
However, the ultimate purchase decision depends on the type of driver you are and the qualities you need in your set of tires. If you’re a performance freak demanding responsiveness, traction, and cornering — you’ll love the A/S 3+.
On the other hand, if you live in bad winter conditions or need something super comfortable and quiet for daily driving, you might want to look elsewhere.
With excellent overall performance in all conditions, we can easily recommend this one to most buyers in the market for a high-performance all-season upgrade.